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tv   The War Room With Jennifer Granholm  Current  July 19, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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>> absolutely. >> eliot: for our extended conversation, read bill's article from rolling stein magazine please visit enter "the war room" with jennifer granholm. >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in "the war room," ring, ring the alarm clock is going off, people! progressives, it is time for a wakeup call. the polls are tied. the economy is sputtering and the bain attacks may not be working. can someone anyone, throw us a lifeline? >> we've given all the people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life. >> clearly, we people need to quit horsen around and get serious about this election! [alarm ringing]
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>> wake up! wake up, wake up, wake up! up you wake, up you wake! >> jennifer: progressives, just like samuel l. jackson did in the spike lee film, do the right thing i'm calling you to wake the heck up. many of you assume that everybody thinks like we do so maybe you decide you don't have to get active because obviously the president's going to win or maybe you don't like one of his policies so you're going to protest by sitting this election out. let me tell you sitting it out is going to make you an accomplice in electing president romney. last night i interviewed jill stein, the presidential candidate for the green party on the show. i confess right now, i should have asked her to just get out of the race. now don't freak out enviros, it is not because i don't love her positions. i'm all about renewable energy
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and policies. i'm as disappointed as anyone the president hasn't been able to get a clean energy policy through a just say no congress. but that is the point. he can't do what he wants when he has a just say no congress. so let's just take congress over! let's not forget the worst number in recent electoral history, maybe the worst number in history of all time, 5-3-7. ralph nader gave us george bush by a measly 537 votes in florida. sidelining yourself in this election could cause history to repeat itself. need proof? check out this latest poll from the crucial swing state of virginia. it has president obama and mitt romney tied at 44%. the same poll in march had president obama leading mitt romney by 8 points, 50 to 42. what makes the poll numbers even
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scarier is that president obama has poured big money into virginia. his team has spent about $12.5 million since may. romney and his backers have only doled out about $10.8 million. so we all need to wake up, folks! to quote mitt romney, this ain't beanbag. joining me tonight is bill burton. bill is a senior strategist with priorities u.s.a. action. he runs the thing. it is a super pac that supports president obama. you all know back inside "the war room." glad to have you here in person in san francisco. >> thanks for having me. >> jennifer: you bet. we want to -- this is a group of watchers this stuff back and forth. so i don'tto getalking points or anything. just want to get right to it. what are you saying to people who believet this in thepl like be about a policy or >> i'm they'reand that if you look at the poll today out from "the new york times," it says that this race is essentially tied.
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now, there is good news in that poll. on the issue of mitt romney's business record, he'sn on some water. people are starting to see that his business record was about screwing middle class americans so he and his partners could make millions of dollars. but the bad news is even though there's been that movement, the race is still essentially tied. so this thing is going to be close the whole way through. if democrats stay on the sidelines, the president could lose. >> so today, for example, there was a story in politico about donors obviously you're raising money to be able to put out ads and get the message across from the super pac side. a lot of billionaire donors are staying on the sidelines because in principle they don't like super pacs. what do you tell them? this is a super pac. how do you convince them you have to give in order to eventually hopefully get rid of citizens unite and overturn it? >> a couple of things. for starters, we don't think groups like ours should necessarily exist. there is an irony in being a part of a group that you think shouldn't be around but the supreme court made the rules karl rove has been capitalizing
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on it. if they're going spending all of the money, somebody has to have the president's back. the second thing is there is a big difference between democratic donors and republican donors. if you look at the republican side the koch brothers, harold simmons, they stand to make millions of dollars if mitt romney is elected president. they're making an investment that they hope to get a return on. democratic side, today we've got a million dollars from morgan freeman. >> that's very cool. >> jennifer: what does morgan freeman want for you? >> it is not like hollywood sells more movie tickets because president obama gets elected. these are folks who care about equality or things that all of the progressives care about. you don't get a return except a great country to live in. that's what makes it easier to raise money on the republican side. we're going around and make the case that the president needs help. it will be a close election. >> jennifer: george soros has not kicked in yet. he's the one that they all trot out all the time to say you guys have george soros you guys have the koch brothers.
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he hasn't kicked in because he doesn't like super pacs. >> there are a lot of democrats who don't like super pacs. >> jennifer: none of us like super pacs but in order to kill the beast you've got to be able to put the president in power. >> to pair paraphrase donald rumsfeld, you go to the election with the rules that you have, not the rules you wish you had. >> jennifer: $20 million. >> with another $10 million in commitments. >> jennifer: he's raised about $62 million for romney. his donors aren't afraid to step up. >> that's right. and also because they stand to make a lot of money if mitt romney gets elected. the thing i feel good about even though we raised less money, the money we've spent has had a measurable impact. >> jennifer: we'll talk about that in a second. i want to talk about a very large contributor from the san francisco area to democrats in the past, sitting on the sidelines.
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here in march. susie tompkins buell. listen to what she said. >> i'm not giving up on him. i just want him to be his best and take care of the future. that's what i care about. for his children, my grandchildren, all of our children. >> jennifer: so her whole point was she wanted him to speak more forcefully about the environment and clean energy, et cetera. you know, i don't know if you've met with her or if that's a lost cause but when somebody who clearly supports clean energy and sees what the president's been trying to do through congress can't find it in themselves to give where does that leave someone like you trying to get the message out? >> it is not just what the president is trying to do but what he's done on fuel efficient cars. he's made generational changes that will have a huge impact on our country. for those folks i say look at the ads the koch brothers are running. they're not just running against president obama. they're trying to undercut federal investments in clean energy. so the president loses.
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there is going to be no more investment. >> jennifer: is there a messaging problem? a lot of democrats say he hasn't sold healthcare. he hasn't sold energy. is that what's really the problem? >> i think even if you ask the president, he would say yes, it is very hard to communicate in these times when there's so many different things happening. throughout the first term, you know, there was crisis after crisis, the auto industry, the financial industry, iraq, afghanistan, on and on and on. so there maybe wasn't as much time to communicate every single thing but we're going to go into this fall with a fight between two competing visions and i'm confident the president will win that fight. >> jennifer: let's talk about what has been working. you guys are responsible for the most viewed bain attack on the web. and -- which is the ad where the fellow says he felt like he was building his coffin when he had to build a stage for the announcement the company was going away. that was a great ad. i hope you've got more in your pocket. do you? >> we do.
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we've got great ads. >> jennifer: really? that makes us so happy because you can hopefully get people to contribute if they think you've got something good to put on the air. >> they are great ads. one of the things i was saying about effectiveness, we've made the most watched political ads this cycle. even though we've spent less than a tenth of what everybody else has, it is still breaking through. over 1.2 million views on that spot. >> jennifer: do you have other people who have been victimized by bain coming? >> there are thousands of people who were and yes we have more that you haven't met just yet. >> jennifer: that's great to hear! i continue to say and last night we had a discussion about what are the other shoes to drop. obviously there are more bain stories. those will be coming as the campaign progresses. you've got the tax return issue. you also have -- and you've got the offshore accounts. you've also got paul ryan and the budget. >> which is huge.
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>> jennifer: are you going to do something on that? >> absolutely. the ryan budget is the most toxic thing a political party has embraced. when we talk to voters about this and you do focus groups and polls, voters didn't believe a politician could support such a thing. and so part of bain and talking about mitt romney's business experience is explaining that this is the kind of guy who made these kinds of decisions when he was in business. just wait until you see how he wants to screw you. >> jennifer: this is why the president was talking about medicare in florida today right? because paul ryan would end medicare as we know it. bill burton, all right. democrats, you've gotta get off the sideline. make sure we're able to get the message out. i really appreciate you coming inside "the war room." and no, it is not your first or last time in a war room. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> jennifer: bill burton from priorities u.s.a. action super pac. coming up, what's better for a campaign? moon colonies or tax returns? a gingrich advisor weighs in. plus we'll track mitt romney's
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latest secret and lies and why is john mccain siding with hillary clinton? hint, tea party madness is involved and it is all next in "the war
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i can't stand these spots. those spots are actually leftover food and detergent residue that can redeposit on your dishware during the rinse cycle. gross. jet-dry rinse agent helps wash them away so the only thing left behind is the shine. jet-dry rinses away residues for a sparkling shine. >> there are so many things that will be open again for more attack and you just want to give more material for more attack and that's really -- that's just the answer. and we've given all people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life. >> jennifer: mitt romney's failure, repeated failure to release his tax returns is one example of his secrets and lies. we have another one to add to the list tonight. here it is. when mitt romney created bain capital in 1984, he had trouble attracting domestic investors.
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so he tapped overseas investors. there's nothing wrong with it but according to the "l.a. times," that money went through offshore shell companies registered in panama which, at the time was notorious for its secretive banking system. so now we've got panama, bahamas, cayman islands switzerland, they may all be nice vacation spots. they're also great places to hide your money. and there is always something new and exotic about mr. romney's past. our next guest has been warning folks since primary season that mitt romney's ties to bain capital and his exotic finances could wind up biting him in the behind. rick tyler is the former spokesman to newt gingrich. he comes to us from washington d.c. rick welcome inside "the war room." >> glad to be here. how are you governor? >> jennifer: i'm doing great thanks. i appreciate you coming on.
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have you found yourself saying "i told you so" a lot lately? >> no. it is not my nature to say i told you so. >> jennifer: why don't you think more reporters picked up on your warnings about mitt romney's secrecy? >> you know, i had a lot of conversations with a lot of reporters and there are a lot of hard-working reporters who knew a lot about this. i frankly think it was the editors more than the reporters. they know a good story when they see one. i think this was the optimal moment to talk about this. we were a little surprised. i went on a competing network on january 15th and laid out the s.e.c. documents that identified romney as ceo of bain capital then but it was just greeted with a ho-hum. so here we are again. the problem for romney is that he should have realized then, even if the story wasn't taking hold at the time and -- romney credit for turning this into an argument of attacking free
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enterprise. it wasn't true. but it won the day. there was an opportunity to lay it out and to clear it up. there was an opportunity four years ago that hadn't been done. here we are. >> you're one of the people calling for him to release his tax returns right? >> i think if between between -- if he wants to get this behind him he'll need to release them. i think to satisfy the questions about it because there seems to be a culture of nontransparency here and that is not really comfortable with most voters. they need to see. there is another way he could certainly get around this and that is you know, if he could articulate an overarching theme there was a big idea that people saw this as a lot to do about nothing and the obama team attacking him the reason it is sticking is because that is lacking. >> jennifer: because there's nothing else to talk about in terms of a vision or a plan.
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just quickly you laid out the s.e.c. documents in january of this year. but honestly, he's been attacked on this issue of his involvement with bain capital during those critical years 1999 to 2002, for you know, since way back when he ran for governor in 2002. so wonder why -- why he has decided to ignore all of this? do you think that there is something in those tax returns that he's hiding? >> quite honestly, i don't think he's hiding anything in terms of being illegal. i think there are probably things in the tax return that he doesn't want to have to explain or may play to obama's strength in obama's framing. i don't know. this is pure speculation but for instance, you know because governor romney hasn't drawn a paycheck in a decade and he does make most of his money on capital gains that he probably paid very few taxes and that
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would certainly lend itself to obama's argument. he delivered a flat line in 1999 when he went on and did so to save the olympic games in salt lake city. that's a very good thing he could talk about that. he could talk about that in the upcoming olympics but when he delineated the line, it is hard to explain if you left bain, why were you listed as the ceo. people on wall street might be able to understand that. the average voter doesn't understand how you draw salary and listed as a ceo when you said you left the company. that will be difficult plus all during that time, those were the companies that were in question. gsi steel ddi these companies that actually did downsize and lay off people and in some cases, shipped jobs overseas and worse. he does not want to have to explain those things. >> jennifer: so in our limited
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time, we asked you to come -- because we're in a war room, we want you to come up with some advice you would offer the romney campaign. you mentioned one was that he should articulate and overarching vision. second piece of advice you sid. i would love for you to explain which is you said he should embrace it, the free market philosophy. how would he do that? >> from the conservative side of the aisle we believe the free market -- it works. it is a better, safer cleaner -- >> jennifer: hasn't he been saying that all over the place? >> i don't know that he's been explaining the free market as well as he could. afterall, why are we 4% of the world's population yet we create a third of the entire world's wealth? there is a reason for that. it is not dna. we have immigrants from all over the country. people can live the american dream and he can juxtapose that against the vision that obama wants to put which is statism. he could articulate the free market economy how it helps the poor, the environment how it
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can fund programs that are going broke. it could give us better healthcare. >> jennifer: he has an uphill battle on that because people see the market as not being free globally. i thought you had a very interesting third piece of advice which you told our team which is that he should connect with average voters. how does someone who is clearly out of touch and disconnected, how does he do that as a human being? >> i don't know that he's out of touch so much. i told your producer i wasn't sure how to fix this problem. romney has a very difficult problem connecting to the average voter with. they feel like he's going to fight for me. unfortunately, he has an opponent, barack obama who is actually very good at this. he's very good at getting across to people that he will fight for them and he cares for them. and that you know, i disagree with his policies but he's good at that. >> jennifer: specifically, what would you have him do out on the campaign trail? quickly? >> well, he needs to follow barack obama's -- he needs to
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tell stories about who he is. i think people don't know who he is. what is his character? what has he done and why should we like him and trust him? >> jennifer: final question. who is going to win? come on. take off your partisan hat. put your honesty on the table. >> it is too close to call. i think barack obama could win this thing by creating a question mark at the margins in the swing states but the fact that we're even now in the worst economy with trillions of dollars of debt, low unemployment we should be smokin' this guy and we're not. and that concerns me. i can't call it. >> jennifer: rick, i your honesty. thank you for coming inside "the war room." great to have your advice from the other side of the aisle. up next, my point on the ironic hypocrisy of the right's attack on president obama's patriotism. then we'll go inside the numbers to see if the bain argument is really swaying voters in the swing states.
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ed an amendment. >>now it's your turn. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. >>it's a call to arms. voice heard. >> jennifer: and now a visit to crazytown. okay potential vice presidential candidate senator marco rubio went on national public radio and attacked
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government funding for national public radio. please, senator rubio we know you want to beef up wing credentials but leave the extreme insanity to michele bachmann. there's plenty of room in crazytown for the both of you. when you make a gaffe, you have to bite the bullet and deal with it. when your opponent is willing to take your words out of context and manufacture a gaffe out of thin air all you can hope for is brett ehrlich to get your back. shh, brett's talking now. >> president obama made the super controversial statement that everybody in america can use roads. >> if you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. somebody invested in roads and bridges. if you've got a business, you didn't build that. >> clearly at the end the president is saying if you have a business, didn't you build the roads and bridges your business uses. you would have to be excuse me,
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a tea bag to take the president out of context. to say that steve jobs didn't build apple or henry ford didn't build ford. >> to say that steve jobs didn't build apple that, henry ford didn't ford motor it is insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in america. >> wow. can i get fired for that? maybe he said it once. realized it was a gross misrepresentation of the fact and walked it back. it is not like he would take that statement put it on a t-shirt and then sell it for $20 on his web site, would he? oh my, he did! so many words! imagine showing that off to your friends. >> hey, do you like my new shirt? pretty great huh? >> halfway. >> that's really clever.
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>> if i didn't know any better, i would say he was try hing desperately to distract from another trend in the media they've wishes would go away. >> will mitt romney made it to the convention without releasing his tax returns? >> the tax returns are a relevant window into how he conducts his business affairs. >> he should release the tax returns tomorrow. >> just releasing your stupid tax returns. >> i'm done talking now. >> jennifer: someone is always in our war room. check us out online at"the war room." you can check out our exclusive web extras. i always have to put a push on for the great tchotchkes that keep being sent to
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